Distinguishing Greek from Hermanns

Yvonne G

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I've been doing this for long enough now that I should be able to distinguish between the Graeca and Hermanni tortoises. Can anyone post side-by-side pictures of each, top and bottom, so I can compare and see why I'm having so much trouble getting the hang of it? I can post pictures, but I don't know how to get them side-by-side. And when I have to scroll up and down to look at the pictures, I can't tell the differences between them.
 

Raymo2477

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Greek vs Hermann's. The easiest way to tell them apart is the plastron, the Hermann's has two longitudinal bands of black where *most* Ibera Greeks have more of a blotch (but some have no plastron markings).
 

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Raymo2477

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Also Greeks are more oval and domed, Eastern Hermann's are more trapezoidal and there slope is more gentle.
 

WithLisa

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The easiest way to tell them apart is the tail :p but the markings (on top and bottom) are also different.
 

TurtleBug

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HermanniChris has a good post about this: http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/which-baby-tortoise-do-i-have-a-pictorial-guide.115333/

Looking at the belly markings is probably the easiest way to tell Mediterranean tortoises apart. Scroll down to the plastron photo in the above post. These are babies, but the adults' bellies look pretty much the same. But of course, there will be variations among individual tortoises.

Notice how Hermann's have two dark "stripes" (solid or broken depending on ssp) of dark color, Greeks have various blotches of darker color, Egyptians have one pair of dark "triangles" (chevrons), and Marginateds have several pairs of dark triangles.
 

HermanniChris

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This should help.

I made that video a while ago. There are exceptions to every rule of course. For instance, Greek tortoises are supposed to have thigh spurs (hence the second name Mediterranean spur thighed tortoise) and Hermann's are supposed to lack them. HOWEVER, certain locales of Testudo hermanni hermanni (the western subspecies of Hermann's tortoise) can and do have them. You can read about these spurs by following this link to my second website where I discuss the tortoises of Sicily: http://www.hermannihaven.com/#!sicilian-tortoises/chld
 

Yvonne G

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I've rescued a few greek tortoises over the years, but none of them ever looked like the Greeks here on the Forum. They were gray with no shell pattern and looked like desert tortoises of a different shape.
 

JoesMum

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And then you get Graeca Ibera and Graeca Graeca. The one in the first post is Ibera.

TGG has distinctive flared scutes above the rear legs and a yellowish tinge to the scales on the head
 

Mag

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I have rescued a greek tortoise. He’s roughly 4 years old. I was told he would mostly eat dark green leafy veg. In the summer he loves dandelion flowers and leaves. Hardly eats his kale, or spring greens. I think he seems sad 😔
 

Randy Micheals

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Hi Mag,

What makes you think your Greek is sad? Mines a grump if anything haha.

Dark leafy green weeds are better than leafy veg. Dandelion is great, as are plantains, clovers, thistle, and cactus pads. Hibiscus both leaves and flowers are good. A wide variety of leafy WEEDS should be the bulk.

In any case, you might want to post your own thread in the introductions section and include a few pics, I'd love to see your melancholy Greek! 😋

Send a msg if you want to know more about plant options for his diet, I've done a lot of digging for my own Greek.
 

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